How not to get sick when abroad

Being sick during that backpacking trip that’s been long in the planning is every backpackers’ nightmare. And with good reason.

Taking ill thousands of miles away from home, family and your usual GP is quite scary. This is made worse if you’re feeling particularly worse and have to seek medical attention from hospitals where they don’t converse in a tongue you are not familiar with.

We at Travel are firm believers in prevention being better than cure and have created a list of precautions you can take during your travels to minimize the chances of you falling sick.

1. Travel insurance is your friend

Taking good travel insurance is a must before you set off to any location. You will not most likely need it, but you will be glad for it if you do.

Travset tip- Make sure you don’t skimp on your insurance cover to ensure it is comprehensive.
Click here for our list of recommended insurance providers.

2. Do your research

The internet is great for conducting research on what illnesses to expect on your travels. Keep an eye out for any special travel vaccinations or medicine you might need.

3. Prepare

Get yourself looked over by your local GP and stock up on important medications such as inhalers for your asthma.

4. Take your vitamins

It’s difficult to eat as healthy as one would like during your travels. This, however, can cause nutritional deficiencies which is akin to begging for a bout of sickness. It is therefore wise to take some multivitamins with you on your travels.

5. Sanitizers are your friend

Use sanitizers wherever possible. Bacteria is everywhere and spares no one.

6. Watch what you drink

Tap water in most parts of the world is not fit for consumption. It is therefore wise to steer clear of drinking water off taps and opt for bottled water from recognized supermarket chains.

7. Watch what you eat

Purchase food from the vendors with the biggest crowd as such locations have the freshest food and a good reputation if popular with the locals. Avoid uncooked or half-cooked meat at all costs. If cooking by yourself wash meat, fruits, and vegetables multiple times and cook them well before consumption.

8. Use mosquito repellent

Mosquitoes are not only pesky but very dangerous as they act as carriers for many diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya, and malaria.

9. Try and stay active

It is easy to lay back and start substituting alcohol for water during your travels. This is however not recommended as staying fit and getting your body moving is one of the best ways to ward off illnesses.

10. Have a get-well plan

Do your research on the hospitals and doctors covered by your insurance prior to your arrival. Knowing medical attention is present provides a sense of comfort.